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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-06-08

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Tourism Minister: Greek tourism 'visibly improved'

  • [01] Tourism Minister: Greek tourism 'visibly improved'

    ANA/MPA---Greece is recovering and Greek tourism is "visibly improved" in relation to last year, Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni said in an interview with the U.S. television network CNN on Friday, during her visit to New York.

    In an interview that also touched on Greece's soaring unemployment levels, which the latest figures placed at 26.8 percent, and protests by pensioners in Athens, Kefalogianni stressed that tourism was a sector of vital importance for Greece's economy.

    She also commented on the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) report on the Greek programme, noting that the IMF's admission that it had made mistakes and miscalculated the depth of the recession that would ensue "comes too late". The minister pointed out that the mistakes were made, with the result that Greece was now in the 6th consecutive year of recession, with high unemployment that have severe repercussions on the lives of Greek citizens.

    Referring to the prospects of the Greek economy, the tourism minister said that "light was now emerging at the end of the tunnel" though challenges still remained. She said the country had made significant progress, earning praise from its European partners, who encouraged the government to continue tough fiscal reforms that were very hard for the Greek people.

    Kefalogianni appeared confident that tourism will be greatly improved relative to the previous year, reaching record levels, and make a significant contribution toward an economic recovery in 2014.

    The minister said she had found positive attitudes toward Greece as a tourism destination during meetings with members of the U.S. travel industry, including that with the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) President Terry Dale. Among factors contributing to Greece's popularity was an image of stability that had become established worldwide and of a 'smooth transition' to a new era for the Greek economy, as well as a sense of security that is considered crucial among U.S. tourists.

    During her visit, the minister also had the opportunity to meet with members of the Greek-American community and the mass media.

    Kefalogianni wrapped up her visit to New York on Thursday and left for Toronto, where she will again hold meetings with the press, travel industry and Greek expatriate community.

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